Carla started a degree in Zoology but discovered broader interests through university and graduated with a Masters in Biology. She has worked in scientific publishing and is soon to start a PhD with the Natural History Museum.
We said goodbye to J a week ago, which really started to feel like the beginning of the end of our time here. This week we’ve had three pretty successful ocean days, including catching an adult male hawksbill to set our second satellite tracker on.
This week has flown by, with a lot of new and different experiences including putting a satellite tracker on a turtle and an intense three-day seagrass survey.
In the past week we’ve built a mud pit, entertained a group of nearly 30 kids for a day, visited Corcovado National Park, watched whales from shore, and I got bitten by a turtle. When I mention hazards of the job, I’m not entirely sure if I’m talking about the turtle bite or how spoilt I have become about seeing incredible wildlife.
We had a record-setting week, with the busiest ocean day yet, but otherwise it’s been fairly relaxed with a small opportunity to stretch some mental muscles that I have enjoyed, and now I am sat in a hotel in Puerto Jiminez with hot water, (admittedly a bit rubbish) wifi, and a tour to Corcovado National Park booked for tomorrow!
As strange as it is, I am already halfway through my time with LAST. It is getting quieter as it becomes the low season here, but we have still had plenty turtles this week. The low volunteer numbers also mean it is time to do some seagrass sampling soon, which I’m excited about.
So I’ve been here for a month now, and as usual the time has flown by and is only getting faster, with just another six weeks to go on the project, which means I’m halfway through my total time in Costa Rica.
For most of this week, we haven’t had any volunteers, which is an interesting change of pace but in some ways a necessary one to catch up after a hectic first fortnight. I’ve enjoyed having time and space to sort myself out and get to grips with things better, but am now feeling ready to welcome the next volunteer who is arriving in a few days.
The second week started with our first zero turtle day. I’ll try not to complain too much about a day sitting on a beach in Costa Rica, but it is frustrating! There was only one volunteer with us and I felt quite bad for her, but she’s here a while longer so hopefully she’ll have plenty opportunities. On the boat journey back we saw a pod of dolphins playing very close to us, which made up for it as far as I’m concerned.
Yesterday marked the end of my first week at the Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) Osa project. I’ve already learned a lot and have a much better idea of what the next nine weeks of my life are going to look like!